A Freshman Signature Course, Fall 09
 IMMEDIATE PRACTICAL GOALS
 REQUIRED NEW CURRICULUM GOALS
 UNIVERSITY GOALS
 EXPLORE U.T. GOALS
 IMMEDIATE PRACTICAL GOALS
 Signature Courses aim to make students aware of the high standards necessary for college-level academic work and help students cultivate skills to meet those standards." Our goals are to help students meet college academic standards and to help them get and keep jobs. To that end, students need to learn
[1A] how to survive despite apparent craziness like Alice in Wonderland
[1B] pro-active, positive attitude
[1C] how to read and follow directions
[1D] how to listen
[1E] time management (Time management is vital in life, but especially in writing, because the secret of writing as discovery learning; of writing as innovative thinking; of writing as creativity; in short, of great writing, is rewriting. A key to rewriting is allowing enough time to elapse between drafts -- the opposite of procrastination. To teach the importance of this kind of time management, punctuation and proofreading will be stressed in the grading of student writing for they are good indications of how careful the student has been in his or her writing and how much time has been budgeted between drafts
 GOALS OF THE REQUIRED NEW CURRICULUM
[2A] LEADERSHIP AND ETHICS
[2B] DIGITAL LITERACY
[2I] INDEPENDENT INQUIRY
Basic Education Requirements of U.T.: “The University must not only equip its graduates with occupational skills but also educate them broadly enough to enable them to adapt to and cope with the accelerated process of change occurring in business, professional, and social institutions today.“
Core Curriculum Goal is “To better prepare students for a changing world by making sure they graduate with the flexible skills they need”
[2A] to be leaders in our communities,”* and better able to deal with
[2B] the technological revolution;
[2C] a state and country that are more culturally diverse;*
[2D] closer proximity to other nations and cultures.*
*These goals are met in part by the six required course areas that are “flagged”: [2A] Leadership[2A1] and Ethics [2A2];”: [2E] Writing; [2F] Quantitative Reasoning; [2G=2D] Global Cultures; [2H=2C] Multicultural Perspectives and Diversity; [2I] Independent Inquiry
[2B] DIGITAL LITERACY: “students will be better able to deal with the technological revolution” by being able to
[2B1] recognize the value of multimedia for access to right brain, the whole person
[2B2] recognize the power of multimedia to change society, prime example Earthlings
[2B3] move from making slide shows to making movies (road map assignment)
[2B4] increase web 1.0 skills of web: email, websites, electronic portfolios;
[2B5] increase web 2.0 skills, social networking as in Facebook and Blackboard
.GOALS OF TWO FLAG COURSES: WRITING and LEADERSHIP/ETHICS
[2E] WRITING. GOAL OF THE OLD AS WELL AS THE NEW CURICULUM: “Every graduate of the University is expected to be able to express himself or herself clearly and correctly in writing” (U. T. “Basic Education Requirements”)
[2E1] To get a taste of what it is like to be a professional writer aiming at perfection and adopting the necessary time management, rewriting, and proofreading to become a great writer.
[2E2] To get a taste of writing as a work of art. We practice informal writing as way to overcome writer’s block and as a foundation for becoming good writers. Our formal writing is writing as art, and thus the best writing you can possibly do. Think of your project as, say, a statue: you want it to have as few flaws as possible, to be as “perfect” as possible.
[2E3]. To experience writing as discovery learning, especially as one connects parts of the essay, usually while rewriting.
[2E3a]. Only connect! . . .Live in fragments no longer.” E. M. Forster, Howards End (1910).
[2E3b]. “‘One day when I was twenty-three or twenty-four this sentence seemed to form in my head, without my willing it, much as sentences form when we are half-asleep, ‘Hammer your thoughts into unity’. For days I could think of nothing else and for years I tested all I did by that sentence [...]” William Butler Yeats (cited in Frank Tuohy, Yeats, 1976, p.51 )
[2E4] To practice writing energized by positive rather than negative motivations, by love of your work of art rather than fear of deadlines, by creativity rather than going through the motions, by curiosity rather than compulsion.
[2E5] To practice the new writing as the product of conscious, deliberate collaboration as well as isolation, drawing on the help and advice of your fellow students as well as your instructor.
[2E6] To experience writing as inspired by and contributing to something greater than the individual ego. In addition to most of the formal writing assignments, writing for the internet is a good example of this. You must first find your "place" is this complex verbal and visual ecosystem. Then you make your contribution and see it in its place in this greater whole.
[2E7] To get a taste of the new world-wide writing, the instant publication of web writing. To face the changes in writing computers demand. Computers don’t do what you want them to do: they do what you tell them to do, and in their coding they demand perfection. They have no forgiveness for errors in code. Hence, proofreading and attention to detail becomes even more important.
[2E8] To practice the new multimedia writing which appeals to multiple intelligences, the right as well as the left side of the brain.
[2A1] LEADERSHIP, FIRST GOAL OF REQUIRED LEADERSHIP/ETHICS FLAG COURSES, is also
the key to meeting the goals of the Basic Education Requirements: “The University strives to enroll exceptionally well-prepared, highly motivated students and to produce self-reliant graduates who will become leaders in both their chosen professions and their communities.”
Leadership is also one of the six traditional core values of U.T.: (leadership; individual opportunity; discovery; learning; freedom; responsibility). Some of the others also stress leadership such as the core value of responsibility: “As the State of Texas takes an expanding position of leadership in the world arena it depends more and more on The University to accept this responsibility and to truly be an agent for positive change.”
Finally, leadership is the GOAL OF THE REQUIRED NEW CURRICULUM: “all of our students, whatever their areas of specialization, be better prepared for a changing world: graduate with the flexible skills they need to be leaders in our communities.”
[2A1a] Goal: To express leadership in writing, especially in the leadership vision, focusing on a passion of the writer that works best FOR THE BENEFIT OF SOCIETY. (CORE PURPOSE OF U.T.)
[2A1b] The goal of the two formal writing assignments, ethics as well as leadership, is to know that which is greater than the ego. (Better awareness of the world beyond the ego, beyond the conscious self, is not only a characteristic of an ethical person, but also enables a leader to be open to great inspirations and to be able to tap resources far greater than those of an isolated self. )
[2A2] ETHICS [2A2] The second goal of the required leadership/ethics flag courses -- learn to make real-life ethical choices -- is closely related to the core purpose of the University of Texas, to transform lives for the benefit of society. It is also one of the basic education requirements of U.T.: “have experience in thinking about moral and ethical problems.” Our ethics goals are
[2A2a] To experience by analogy a little of ethical dilemma presented by Anti-Semitism, especially the Holocaust.
[2A2b] To experience by analogy a little of ethical dilemma presented by racism, especially slavery.
[2A2c] To experience more directly the ethical dilemmas presented by speciesism, especially cruelty to animals.
[2A2d] To become aware of real-life ethical choices made daily by all of us involving cruelty to animals.
[2A2e] To return to the traditional college goals of developing character and conscience.
[2A2f] To practice replacing fear and greed with love, compassion, tolerance, and the sympathetic imagination.
[2A2g] To practice tolerance for diversity for personality types and races/ethnic groups (African-Americans and Hispanic Americans our prime examples), thereby advancing the goals of the Multicultural Perspectives and Diversity required flag courses [2C].
[2A2h]To practice tolerance for different global cultures (India our prime example), thereby advancing toward the goals of the Global Cultures required flag courses [2D].
[2G] INDEPENDENT INQUIRY GOALS
[2I1] “to know thyself.” To know one’s strengths and weaknesses in learning, writing, reading, speaking, listening. Self-awareness is essential not only for leadership and ethics, but for good writing for it enables self-management of time and emotional as well as intellectual resources.
[2I2] to think for your self, decreasing reliance on secondary sources, practicing what is known as active, experiential or discovery learning (as in science experiments, the Moore method in math, and Amherst College’s Baird Freshman English course in the humanities);
 UNIVERSITY GOALS
The goal of the required signature courses is to “expose each entering UT student to the broad goals and possibilities of a university education.’ Our goal is for students to experience college as students did at Oxford and other colleges whose seals are represented on and in the Tower. This includes the
[3A] Universal college goal of living in fragments no longer, learning to think, to connect, to hammer thoughts into unity.
[3B] This is a central principle of Newman’s Idea of a University, still the classic text on this subject. Newman’s model was Oxford. Newman emphasizes again and again the necessity of synthesis -- connection between the various courses and activities of university life -- to achieve a strong sense of university education as the unity it is supposed to be, rather than the fragmented multiversity it all too often is.
[3C] Our goal is thus also unity, of the self, of the self and others, of the self and nature, of one subject and another, etc.
[3C1] To unify the self, our goal is to maximize our potential by cultivating both sides of our brains, developing all our multiple intelligences.
 EXPLORE U.T. GOALS
[4A] Signature Course goal: to acquaint students with some of the gems of the university that make it unique (its “signature”)
[4B] Related goal: To capture a sense of the university as a place, esp. the campus as an alma mater, a second home: HRC, the tower, totem animals, Dobie walk, etc.
[4B1] To invoke the personal presences (ghosts, genius loci) embodied in place, such as Joe Jones, Frank Dobie, and the students of 1969 and others in Waller Creek, and all the ghosts inhabiting the Harry Ransom left; i.e. to give some sense of the social as well as environmental history of this campus, and comparable genius loci embodied in the social and environmental history of other colleges.